Sussex is a sunny part of England with so much to see- an expansive coastline, charming villages and a gentle rolling countryside. You can spend a day exploring the landscape, seek out the beauty of nature along the coast line or simply sit back and soak in the vibrant culture. Here are the 7 best places to visit in Sussex, England:
Brighton gains the title of being the largest and the most progressive city in all of England. Oftentimes, Brighton has been called the mini-London of the South. Your first day should be spent here if you love a rich history and engaging stories. Celebrate as the dark comes, because the night life is also something to look forward to.
The Royal Pavilion is a balloon-like structure that holds onion domes and minarets. Get inside the tale of how this royal residence was originally built for George IV in the 1700s. The Indo-Saracenic revival architecture invokes images of both Islamic and Indian structures, which was the fashionable thing during the time. Grab an audio guide and sign up for a tour and learn all about how the Prince Regent lived an opulent lifestyle as he lived in the Royal Pavilion.
Rye is another historic port place that was the center of trade of days gone by. It sits among the hills, close to the rivers Brede and Rother. You can get to The Citadel as you go up higher to town should you wish to explore the site on foot. Get ready to be transported back to the 18th century and walk on old, winding streets made of ancient cobblestones, and weatherboard houses reminiscent of life during the 18th century.
At the Rye Castle is a fascinating museum where visitors can take up the many details regarding Rye’s colorful history. If you wish to know more, then the next stop should be the Rye Heritage Center. If you want some sun and tan time, then make a beeline for the Camber Sands, often hailed as one of the best beach spots found along the English Channel’s coasts.
History, history, history. Sussex is simply a must-visit for those who want to know about England’s past. In 1066, William the Conqueror won against Harold II here. It was his first of many victories as he tried to conquer England. It was also in Battle that a Benedictine abbey was constructed as a penance of some sort for all the violence caused by the war. You won’t be able to see the abbey since it was destroyed in the 1500s, but there still sits a stone from which Harold II fell.
Nowadays, you can soak in the rich past of Battle while visiting the pubs, tea rooms and artisan shops found in the area. There’s also an open market every Friday and Saturday to where the abbey used to stand.
Did you know that the “-chester” part of the name means there’s a Roman history involved? This is the place where Claudius’ army set foot upon in AD 43. Fast forward hundreds of years later, and Chichester is now a model Georgian city taken right out from the pages of Jane Austen’s novels.
Walk a short distance and you’ll see the Pallant House Gallery among the many townhouses. Set foot inside and you’ll see a veritable smorgasbord of delightful 20th century artwork by artists Peter Blake, David Bomberg, Lucien Freud and many more. Should you wish to have a higher view, then check out the Chichester Cathedral, which has the distinction of being the only English church that can be seen from the sea. Cap it all of with a visit down to the Bishop’s Palace Gardens for a bright, colorful display of flora during the spring and summer seasons.
Fishbourne is just one train stop away from Chichester. It’s a worthwhile stopover as the village has a couple famous attractions that you should see!
The main event here is the Fishbourne Roman Palace. It’s an interesting museum that has preserved the architecture and flooring of the invading Roman nation as they established a supply fort and palace in AD 43. Only until recently did the place undergo a renovation- an inlay of striking black & white mosaics which highlights the craftmanship shown on display. Get a glimpse of the Dolphin Mosaic and other historical elements on display here.
Take a welcome break from the bright lights and the city life when you visit the Littlehampton, a charming seaside town that offers earthier abodes as compared to Bognor or Worthing. The oldest and most historic part of Littlehampton is undoubtedly the harbor which resides along the eastern banks of the estuary. The old waterside houses make way for the more contemporary fish & chips restaurants and cafes.
There’s also a fairly new promenade down by the water. Walking the path will lead you to Harbour Park; guests and tourists flock here in the warmer summer months. There’s also plenty of children’s games such as crazy golf, pitch and putt and a small railway for them to ride on. If walking or playing isn’t your style, then you can simply take a relaxing ferry ride over to the east banks of Arun and view the old waterside buildings from the seas’ perspective.
7. South Downs National Park
Want to get a taste of new attractions in England? Schedule a part of your itinerary for a visit to the South Downs. It’s a natural park filled with splendid sights such as an undulating coastline and magnificent chalk cliffs. Take a leisurely stroll down the 90-mile walkway on bicycle, on foot or via a horseback ride.
You’ll see the Spring Barn Farm along the way. If you have kids, make sure to do a complete stopover to allow them to play and pet the animals found there. Then, taste a sample of fresh cider at the Middle Farm. Walk down the numerous trails scattered around Arun Valley’s Pulborough Brooks Nature Reserve to see the various wildlife. Go birdwatching and watch out for the elusive singing nightingales and the hooting barn owls during nighttime. Head on to the Castle Hill Nature Reserve to glimpse the rare orchids and fluttering butterflies.
As a fitting conclusion, visit the Drusillas Park and play with the interactive maze, the Thomas & Friends themed rides and watch the local animals down at the zoo.